Dec 31, 2008 5:04pm
Re: did any of you old heads go to any DOORS shows?
I was 13 in January 1967, not quite fitting in Westlake, just below S.F.'s suburban southwest border.
Riding in my Mom's car along the nearly empty 6 lane highway going nowhere, half-listening to the radio...
suddenly a sound emerged from the tiny speaker at soft volume that grabbed me by the ears.
On that first listening, I knew it was something new.
Not just a new song with a catchy hook...
It's hard to listen to it now and realize just how different it sounded at the time.
While Mom went to Penny's, I stopped by the record store at the Westlake mall and bought "Light My Fire" that same day.
I was one of those kids - too young to be allowed to party with the pack, or too old to be allowed to join the party - as happened many times to me throughout my life until they finally came and put me out of my misery...
nonetheless I knew something new and different - and good - when he heard it.
Similar thing happened when I first heard the Beatles, also on AM radio, which I had on constantly from 1962-1969.
My extended family included several cousins a few years older than me who used records like icing on the cake of their kissing parties.
They were a few months too young to have been die-hard Elvis fans, but they were definitely too old to have immediately realized how totally different (and yet, retro) The Beatles were.
I think that's sort of like what happened to the Grateful Dead (family) in 1967.
They (and Jerry Garcia) played a few '66/'67 gigs with teen age garage punk bands (for lack of a better description) such as Oxford Circle and namely The Doors (Jan 13-15, 1967).
That mid-January show was barely a week following The Doors BGP debut in SF, which even wolfgang's vault descibes glowingly:
"...the first time L.A. band The Doors play the Fillmore. The packed crowd was dumbfounded by the music, and a love affair between the band and San Francisco commenced immediately."
I don't think, therefore, "tinny" was the problem...
though elsewhere I've read that the best early Doors concerts were not the ones that were recorded or well attended...
I forget which of the Doors admitted they had difficulty getting their sound right early on at live shows, with the notable exception being... sorry I don't recall exactly which Doors shows were supposed to have been really good, might have been the Whiskey in early '67.
I was aware of the psychedelic music scene going on over a few hills away, mainly from the posters stuffed inside small envelopes
my dad sent me in letters stuffed with folded Family Dog flyers (8x10) during late '66 through early '67.
I guess he picked them up at Hut T-1 at State College (SFSU) (he taught at Hut T-4).
Maybe he got them from The Tides (Sausalito book store) and City Lights Books in North Beach, 2 other ticket outlets he dropped by regularly for the bulletin board action.
But my dad didn't go to the shows at the time, prefering to spend his money on travel.
We finally helped him sneak into the last Bill Graham show at the Fillmore West/Carousel Ballroom. That's another story...
I had a paper route in '66 -'67, earning me around $25 a month, mainly spent on old comic books but also on a handful of LPs and a short stack of singles
I tried to win a free ticket from KYA (San Francisco AM radio station) to see The Beatles at Candlestick Park in '66 (their last live show together) but mainly,
the music I experienced in '63 - '68 was from:
1. family & friend's collections (who usually had better or more records than me, including selections such as:
Tom Lehrer "That Was The Year That Was" (1965) - a live album recorded at the hungry i in San Francisco, satiric topical songs Lehrer originally wrote for the NBC television series That Was The Week That Was;
The Creed Taylor Orchestra/Kenyon Hopkins "Shock" (1958), "Panic" (1959), "Nightmare!!" (1962);
An Evening with Boris Karloff and His Friends (1967);
MAD Twists Rock 'n' Roll;
2. TV (Shindig, Hollywood Palace, Where The Action Is, Hullaballoo, Ed Sullivan, guest apps. on regular series, specials)/
Movies (A Hard Day's Night, The T.A.M.I. Show [1964 concert film]
3. Top 40 Radio (AM. It wasn't until '69 that I heard FM, and only for a few seconds at a time - my impatient friends with that radio couldn't stand the preponderance of talk on KSAN)
"Light My Fire" -
which version did I hear that sunny late afternoon in Jan 1967?
7:06 (album version) - not even remotely possible.
4:40 (long radio version) - intriguing possibility!
3:07 (single version)
"Light My Fire" - originally recorded in August 1966 and released in January 1967. The song was largely written by Robby Krieger, and credited to the entire band.
A live version was released in 1983 on their album Alive, She Cried, the first of several live or compilation albums released in subsequent decades to include the song.
The song is #35 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It was also included in the Songs of the Century list and was ranked number 7 in VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of All Time list.
Origins and radio edits
The song originated as a Robby Krieger unfinished composition, which the other band members then expanded upon.
There was also a radio edit that was shortened to just under five minutes with about half the instrumental portion in place, released only to radio stations. Indeed, the band always stated that their preferred version was the original long version, while the shorter ones were solely produced at their company's request in order to be able to receive radio airplay. Attachment: The_Doors_-_Light_My_Fire.jpgAttachment: That_Was_The_Year_That_Was.jpgAttachment: 0-new-year.jpg